In case anybody’s wondering where I’ve been hiding out, I’ve been busy with this, punctuated by a couple of days off for Easter.

Media Development Loan Fund announces LiveSupport, a free and open source radio automation/playout system

The Media Development Loan Fund, through itsCenter for Advanced Media – Prague (CAMP) is proud to announce the release of LiveSupport 0.9 “Fritz,” a technology preview of its free and open source automation and playout system for radio stations. The software is available for free download at http://livesupport.campware.org

“We believe LiveSupport will be a significant toolset not only for radio stations worldwide, but for the open source community as well,” said CAMP Managing Director Sava Tatic. “CAMP works with independent media in emerging democracies, where radio is an extremely important medium. Open source technology is a natural fit in that context.”

LiveSupport enables radio stations to automate their broadcasts by using playlists that are then scheduled for airing. “Playlists can be made up of any sound file – music, talk or even other playlists – and the LiveSupport system will play them at the specified time.” LiveSupport Project Manager Micz Flor said. Because this version of LiveSupport includes a web interface for working with the system, it means radio station personnel can manage the system – and therefore the station’s broadcasts – remotely using any modern web browser. “Our goal is to allow anyone with an FM transmitter and a cheap Linux-powered PC to have the same functionality that wealthy stations have” Flor said.

The next releases of LiveSupport later this spring will include an in-studio system for playout in “live assist” mode and a network exchange component.

On the technical side, LiveSupport 0.9 “Fritz” provides the open source community with the system’s backend components as well as a user-friendly web interface designed by students and faculty of the Parsons School of Design’s Design and Technology department, and includes:

· A PHP library for handling user authentication and rights
· A multimedia storage server written in PHP
· A scheduler daemon written in C++ that utilizes the free and open source Helix Player for the playout of sound files

Playlists make use of Helix’s SMIL multimedia support, which allows for flexibility and power in their creation and editing.

“We’re proud of LiveSupport, and are eager to get it into users and developers’ hands,” Tatic said. “This is only the beginning.”

Funding for the LiveSupport project has been provided by a grant from the Open Society Institute’s “Open Source Toolsets” initiative.

And translated into geek, there’s this:

Announcing LiveSupport 0.9 “Fritz”

On behalf of Campware’s LiveSupport team, I’m happy to announce the release of LiveSupport 0.9 “Fritz”, a technology preview version of our free and open source playout and automation system for radio stations.

You can download LiveSupport source and libraries tarballs from the following addresses:
http://livesupport.campware.org/download/livesupport-0.9.tar.bz2
http://livesupport.campware.org/download/livesupport-libraries-0.9.tar.bz2

The LiveSupport CVS is at http://netfinity-5.mdlf.org/cgi-bin/viewcvs.cgi/livesupport/

LiveSupport currently exists only for Linux version, and you will need root access to install its C++ components. So far it has been compiled and tested on the Knoppix 3.8 CeBIT edition, Mandrake 10.2 Community and Yellow Dog Linux distributions.

This version of LiveSupport has a focus on the backend technology along with a user-friendly web interface:

– Authentication library (in PHP)
– Multimedia storage server (in PHP)
– Scheduler daemon working with Helix Player (in C++)
– Web-based user interface (in PHP)

The 1.0 release of LiveSupport, including the C++ client for handling playout in both scheduled and ‘live assist’ mode, is currently scheduled for the end of April. The 1.1 release will follow at the end of May, and will include the network program exchange components.

A working demo of LiveSupport can be found at http://ls-demo.campware.org with user: demo, password: demo

The LiveSupport 0.9 “Fritz” release is intended to get the system’s backend technology into the hands of the open source community, as well as to provide a preview for testing by radio personnel. Bugs can be reported at http://bugs.campware.org in the “LiveSupport” section.

We’re looking forward to your active participation in the LiveSupport development process. Your comments and feedback and code are essential to the project’s success.

See you on the radio,

douglas

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